Something telling happened last year on Black Friday. Celebrity aesthetician Kate Somerville, founder of the celebrated Skin Health Experts clinic in Los Angeles, had a sale on her Web site. Thirty percent off everything in her skin care line. Thirty percent. That’s a lot. So a bunch of Kate Somerville devotees, moi included, rushed in with our plastic. The site crashed.
That’s what I mean by telling.
I love Kate Somerville, the person and the product. You may have seen the attractive brunette on QVC, where her Customer Choice Award Winning products consistently sell out.
Here’s the reason: They’re amazing.
I wish they had been around when my Dad was alive. The first time Papi was treated to a professional spa facial, many years ago, I asked him if he thought it really worked. He wasn’t sure, but he enjoyed the pampering. Or, as Papi so memorably put it, “It couldn’t hurt.”
These days, products have advanced so much scientifically and botanically, and become so active on and in your skin, that you can see a huge change immediately, right at home. Over time, these products continue to improve and protect skin and keep it youthful longer, and much healthier.
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DETOX KATE’S WAY
My fave weekly Face Detox is actually semiweekly, and all about Kate. It’s sort of hard to overstate how good her products are. Just proceed with caution; once you try one thing you’re going to want everything. And then you’re going to want to go work for Kate because she’ll probably give you a discount. And then you’ll have to move to LA to start your new Kate Somerville life. You’ll consider getting a Kate tattoo. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Step 1: Always start with a clean slate. Wash your face with Gentle Daily Wash ($32-$95),
a pure gel cleanser that’s perfect for all skin types, especially sensitive ones in winter. Lavender and sage not only smell nice, they soothe the skin as they clean it. Lightly towel-dry your face; let it stay damp.
Step 2: Break out the ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85-$175). This is, like, the best thing ever. Seriously, if you can try only one Kate product, this is The One—with the happy little orange smiley face on the tube. ExfoliKate isn’t a typical surface scrub; it’s truly a skin cocktail that changes your complexion in less than two minutes. Apply it evenly across your face and massage it in, in circles. It’s green because it has papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes that dissolve dead skin cells and bacteria, while tiny round microbeads polish deeply but gently. Leave it on up to 60 seconds so the enzymes can activate and dry, then rinse off with lukewarm water, and lightly towel-dry your face. Now look in the mirror. No, that’s not blush on your cheeks. Hello, that’s what healthy skin is supposed to look like! Rosy. Clear. Luminous.
If you have super-sensitive skin, try ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment ($65). With Vitamin A to help fade discoloration; lemon, orange, sage, and sweet almond extracts to improve elasticity; and Vitamin E and aloe vera to smooth everything out—your skin will be in heaven.
If acne is your issue, go with ExfoliKate Acne Clearing Exfoliating Treatment ($65). Salicylic acid—don’t worry about how this sounds; it’s super-gentle—clears up pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads; green French clay and Amazonian tree extract maintain healthy moisture levels; fruit enzymes and jojoba beads rejuvenate the appearance; and phytic acid—again, don’t worry—brightens skin tone. Your skin will heart this.
Step 3: Apply Quench Hydrating Mask ($45) and/or Clearing Mask ($45).Whether you need to restore and lock in hydration, or control oil and tighten enlarged pores, these are, respectively, the go-to’s. Depending on what’s going on with my skin, I may apply Quench to my cheeks and Clearing Mask to my T-zone. If you’re crazy-dry, obviously use only Quench. And if you’re oily and broken out, use Clearing Mask all over, avoiding the eye and lip area. Both masks have anti-aging properties and are mild but effective.
Quench is a transparent gel with hyaluronic acid—don’t worry—that decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; Vitamins E and B for intense hydration; allantoin to promote healthy-looking skin; and cucumber and Canadian Willowherb to restore a a healthy tone and make skin glow. Apply a thin, even layer and leave it on for up to 10 minutes. It won’t dry completely; it’s not supposed to. Then rinse off with lukewarm water and lightly pat dry.
Clearing Mask manages excess oil and soothes skin at the same time. The ice blue treatment contains natural kaolin clay to absorb excess oil and remove impurities; Vitamins A, C, and E to keep skin moisturized; a mix of BHA’s (antioxidants) to diminish acne scars, shrink the look of pores, and improve skin tone; and lavender to calm and condition. You leave this on for five minutes the first time, and up to eight minutes after that, once your skin has adjusted to it. Once the mask dries, rinse off, pat dry, and revel in The Afterglow.
Follow up with your normal skincare—and please please please use an eye cream; I’ll be doing a separate story on that soon—and call it a Kate Somerville day. The only thing left to do? A happy little orange smiley face tattoo. Preferably where your papi won’t see it.
If pimples are still asserting their obnoxious selves, they must be banished rápido. Kate has a new spot treatment (no pun intended) that I swear knocked off my stunning pre-Valentine’s Day golf baller (aka an extra-ginormous, swollen, painful, reddened zit) in 24 hours. Really. It’s 24 Hour Pimple Punisher ($28).
Oh. My. God. Kate may seem sweet but she is not fooling around. This dual-sided wand has an AM and a PM side. So smart. The fast-absorbing AM Blemish Clearing Gel fights acne, while simultaneously hydrating, making it perfect to wear under makeup (thank God). Cutting-edge peptides help clear up skin using the latest technological advances, and natural willow bark and tea tree extracts inhibit acne.
The powerful PM Acne Treatment Clay targets pores to clear your skin while you sleep. This is the non-irritating Super Burrito of acne killers: 2% salicylic acid targets bacteria and blemishes, and prevents future flare-ups. Balanced minerals are formulated to reduce excess oil production. Natural spring water inhibits water loss and over-drying of the skin. Green kaolin clay, a natural astringent, absorbs excess oils and removes impurities. Use the wand’s two sides every day and night—you probably won’t need to more than a few times—and kick those golf ballers to the curb once and for all, hermana.